Fascinating Things : Issue 70

A bit of a long gap between this blog and the last one – mostly due to being busy organising gigs and releases for German Shepherd . We are doing two stages at this years Salford Music Festival, on Friday 30th September and 1st October,  and there’s been a touch of fettling required due to various unforseens. It’s all settled now and we have four bands on the first night – The Junta, Bouquet of Dead Crows, The Scissors and Kit B, and five bands on the second – Rose & The Diamond Hand, Taser Puppets, Poppycock, JD Meatyard and West Coast Sick Line. The line-up is very attractive and it’s free so i’m hoping a few will turn up at the Eagle Inn in Sunny Salford. The major issue at the moment is the great amount going on in Greater Mancunia and the challenge is to get those hardy souls who like cutting edge music out into the night to watch the bands. There may be further antipodean adventures later in the year, but i’ll keep my powder dry on that one. Anyhow the cricket season is nearly over which means I should have some spare time. One more match to go………

So, as I have not done anything on the blog for a couple of weeks, things have mounted up. Of necessity therefore here are some brief notes to whet your musical whistle……

Et Tu Brucé return with a new video for “Laska”, which is on their eponymous album. A band which manages the clever balancing act between a recognisable sound and being innovative without resorting to genre cliches and industry cloning. A delightful tune well worthy of a listen.

Following the release of their self-titled debut album in 2011, and 2014’s Mutations, Obake are back. Their third LP, entitled “Draugr”, signals both a return to the origins of the band “and a purification of their sound” whatever that means. It is  released on October 28th via Rare Noise Records. No material as yet but I will share on receipt.

Cardiff’s Slowly Rolling Camera have announced the release of a new one called “All Things” on 4th November…….soulful vocally with some interesting stuff going on behind it by the sounds of it….one to watch out for I would venture.

Cinematic post-rock, a bit Sigur Ros but less ethereal, is the order of the day from Floating In Space. New album “The Edge of Light ” is out on October 14th, You get some glimpses of the  content here below. A rich confection of sounds…..

So the promo on this next one says “Honesty comes in many forms, with DUNT, it’s a clattering blow to the consciousness via an Edinburgh-based genre-melding punk/speed metal four-piece.” My immediate reaction revolved around what the hell the drummer was up to in the video…..i’m not sure on this one, i’ll leave you to make your own mind up, i’ve never been a big skate punk fan….but it will get some airplay on one of the podcasts.

Graney and Moore are back with a new one, as part of the “one release a month” project for 2016, and it’s a bit special. When DG goes for the jugular on “political” issues he does it with some style and class. The object of his ire on this one is fairly clear and more power to his elbow for that. Musically Dave and Clare never fail to disappoint and the variety of material in this run of singles has been pretty damn fine. I love the cover image ……..

Talking of matters Melbournian, a plea to the chaps at Witch Hats to release their latest album “Deliverance” in digital or indeed CD form so that those of us who don’t do vinyl can have a copy. Unless I am missing something I can’t find a non-vinyl version anywhere.If you aren’t blown away by the opening track “Weekend Holocauster” then I fear for your mortal soul.

And to conclude our diversions in Melbourne, shoe-gazers, Bloodhounds on My Trail, have a new single out called  ‘Over The Wall’ via Texas-based Moon Sounds Records. Reverb drenched stuff which has a timely autumnal feel. Vocally it touches on Barney Albrecht in my head for some reason. Real wall of sound stuff.

Back to the nothern hemisphere and northern britain and I am contractually obliged to advise you of the release of a new one by Moff Skellington, his 31st album. Moff’s been making Mark E. Smith look like a bit of a slacker of late, with his fourth album this year. Sublimely titled “The Gloating Mustards of Error” the bard of Abstercot is in fine fettle exploring, as he does, that strange place between dreams and reality embodied by Eddodi. I live in eternal hope that the rest of the known universe will eventually catch on to what this guy is up to, his unique use of language and musical instruments deserves recognition in an “entertainment” business stuffed with tribute bands and industry clones.

Sofia Härdig‘s new one appears to be about maps and car parks at least in video terms. Musically it sort of hovers between Banshees and PJH, the promo people aim to draw a Sonic Youth comparison which I don’t get, and a Pixies comparison, which I sort of get…..good stuff

The promo says “Newcastle based alternative five piece Bernaccia mix choral and tribal rhythms together with sweeping soundscapes and neo-psychedelic guitars. September 2016 sees the release of their next single “Angel””. I say,  the revolving door of post-punk, pre-goth, pre-shoegaze comes around again with a nod towards the noir cinemania of say Crime and the City Solution, and one or two other things of that ilk, it reminds me of a cold November night in a half empty Hacienda in 1983 , you know before youth culture finally cottoned on……said track is featured on the most recent Aural Delights Podcast – see how I slipped the shameless self promotion there whilst you were not looking…..?

To conclude, following on from the  recent “Bath White” EP by 50FOOTWAVE , a further release from indie music legend Kristin Hersh, renowned for her solo work and as frontwoman of  Throwing Muses. Called ‘Wyatt at the Coyote Palace’, the double CD and book combination releases in the UK on October 28, 2016 . Ms Hersh is on tour in UK and Eire during November landing at Gorilla,Manchester on November 13th for those of you who live around these parts. I’ve asked for a review copy of the new album for which I wait with baited breath….

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Credit : Peter Mellekas
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I quite like Tuesday’s

For some reason, which is not readily apparent, there has been a serious amount of new music in today so rather than let things pile up I thought I would get it all down before the muse left me…..

The Slow Readers Club – Forever In Your Debt – I Tunes- 1st December 2014

Manchester based Indie/electro band The Slow Readers Club follow the huge success of their last single ‘Don’t Mind’ with the re-release of fan favourite, ‘Forever In Your Debt’, a taut, energetic and danceable track with dark, introspective lyrics and rousing chorus.

The band’s following has been building rapidly since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album in May 2012, which received widespread airplay  drawing comparisons with Interpol, The Killers and Arcade Fire. Their innovative music videos have received widespread media attention.

Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up+ – Ipecac Recordings – 27th October 2014

Nottingham’s Sleaford Mods are a duo that need little introduction, having fiercely penetrated people’s consciousness on a large scale with their sixth album Austerity Dogs in 2013. Since then they’ve garnered critical acclaim with their subsequent work and now they’re joining forces with Ipecac Recordings to release a physical version of their previously released digital compilation Chubbed Up +. This version will include three previously unreleased tracks “The Committee”, “Bring Out The Canons,” and “Fear Of Anarchy”.

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Obake – Mutations – Rare Noise Records – 27th October 2014

Obake are Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (vocals, piano, electronics), Eraldo Bernocchi (guitar, electronics), Balazs Pandi (drums) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree – bass).   This second album arrives at the place where the energies of metal fuse with ambient electronica, jazz, and noise with the precision of math-rock and the groove of blues. Obake’s sound harks back to the dawn of hard-rock, drawing upon a variety of influences from Sunn 0))), Popul Vuh, Ashra Tempel as much as Slayer, Tool, Melvins and Coil. Obake are made all the more distinctive by the fluid lyrical delivery and musings of a commanding operatic voice. Imposing in its darkness, encompassing in its beauty and ever powerful, Obake have lost not of their might since the release of their debut, if anything, they are more captivating now than ever before. Mutations was recorded by Daniel Sandor at Metropol Studio in Budapest, produced and mixed by Eraldo Bernocchi and Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari at The Place in Tuscany and mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone Studio – NYC.

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Dead Sea Apes – High Evolutionary – Cardinal Fuzz – 3rd November 2014

A serious illness to guitarist Brett Savage held up the completion of Dead Sea Apes’ 2nd full length album for a good long while. However that time was not wasted, as the band meticulously worked over the nuances of the mix and adding overdubs. All the key elements of Dead Sea Apes’ sound are in place from the 13th Floor Elevators on Mogadon of album opener Threads, to the dubbed out space drone of Planetarium. Elsewhere, there is the thundering raga inspired Regolith and an overhaul of one of their older tracks, Wolf Of The Bees (named Wolf II here). This is a rich collection that is a summation of Dead Sea Apes so far – heavy hypnotic kraut grooves, unsettling ambience and ghostly dub echoes.

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Ligaments – Ligaments EP (Eat Pizza) – Bandcamp – 19th October 2014

A new EP from Shaun “Ali Bongo” Maxwell’s lad Jake’s excellent band. A couple of tracks from the EP are available for download on Bandcamp.

Ligaments

Black Light White Light – Gold Into Dream – Target Records – 14th October 2014

Black Light White Light returns with a new album “Gold Into Dreams,” released today, across the UK and Europe. Produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (Jet, The Dandy Warhols) as well as guest performances from Grammy Award-winning string arranger Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Goldfrapp), the band has gone on to supporting the likes of internationally renowned band The Telescopes (UK), Crocodiles (US) and Crystal Antlers (US) whilst gaining heavy support from Artrocker, Big Cheese, BELLA UNION’s label owner Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins and Amazing Radio. Black Light White Light were formed in 2009 by guitarist, singer and composer Martin Ejlertsen. After some overlap and changes in the band’s line-up he is now primarily joined by brothers Adam Winberg (drums) and Tobias Winberg (bass) with a handful of selected musicians joining the band live too now and then. “From the beginning we have liked to evolve and keep taking chances when playing live, taking the songs in new directions,” Ejlersten explains. Bit of heavy Manc influence on this one!

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Ummagma – Kiev Remixes – Emerald and Doreen Records – 31st October 2014

Formed in Moscow in 2003, Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukrainian Alexx Kretov have been consistently writing and recording music whilst living between Ukraine and Canada. Shauna’s delicate airy gossamer-like vocals hold glimmers of Cocteau Twins, Stereolab, The Sundays, Curve, Lush, and Slowdive. Alexx’s guitar, vocals, synths, beats and programming create cinematic soundscapes with elements of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson and Brian Eno, enabling the listener soar above the music.  Ummagma debuted with 2 simultaneous LPs (‘Antigravity’ and ‘Ummagma’) in 2012. They’ve built on the success of those records by collaborating with Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik on their ‘New Born’ LP, which will be released by UK label Ear to Ear Records on November 21st 2014.

Despite heavy turmoil in Ukraine, Ummagma are showing a solid footing, looking forward to a brighter future for Eastern Europe. In ‘Kiev’, this Canadian-Ukrainian team celebrates their freedoms, exploring the root of today’s problems to create beauty in the face of hostility. ‘Kiev’ is a essentially a message of hope. This release is an impressive package featuring the original track ‘Kiev’ plus 9 remixes from 9 fantastic artists from nearly as many countries, recreating  the original composition in their own unique styles. Auxiliary tha Masterfader transforms the duo’s work into an Italoesque electro-disco-pop gem. A Copycat’s handclap-dream-pop version is tender as a peach skin with a retro summer groove factor. Statickman’s synths shoot like laser guns into the retro-synth future. A Copy For Collapse goes for a more experimental, industrial approach, while David Garcet’s trippy chillwave edit brings downtempo bliss. Mikael Fas dishes up a beautiful trance-imbued deep house version. Celebrated Japanese chillwave artist Haioka takes everything to the next level with sounds reminiscent of an angelic playground. Sounds of Sputnik presents a stripped-down 90s indie version laced with synth-guitar harmony. Brazilian electro-child Mind Movies delivers a fragmented, dubby and loud breakbeat adaptation that probably comes closest to the actual state of mankind if we could listen to its rhythm.

Kiev

 

All of the above and more will be featured on next weeks podcasts.

Blurring the genre lines

And the excellent new music keeps flowing into the Aural Delights Bunker – sometimes I can’t keep up – what is impressive with this latest selection is the innovation and the blurring of the traditional genre boxes to provide some interesting listening ……let’s kick off with some crust

Trollhättan, Sweden-based Gust, in preparation of the upcoming release of their self-titled second LP, and their first with Southern Lord, have released a preview called “Reality Chokes”….

Self-recorded at Fvck Life Studios, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Warcry, From Ashes Rise, Deathreat, Audiosiege Engineering), who also supplies guest vocals to the album, I am advised that “Gust” (the album) is a crushing but incredibly dynamic album, displaying a unique style of crust-infused hardcore and talented songwriting from the young act.  Hopefully I can get a copy and share it on the Sonic Attack Podcast.

Gust - (photo credit: Magnus Larsen)
Gust – (photo credit: Magnus Larsen)

The Dan’l Boone album, which will be featured on next weeks Aural Delights Podcast is a challenging listen – and to give you a taste of what to expect here’s a video from the band:

The release date is September 22nd via Drag City.

Reptile Youth are releasing a free download in advance the  official “Structures” single which is released next week – it’s called “Clouds” and is previously unreleased.

Since 2013, Ufomammut have been slowly working on a video project which will be released on DVD via Malleus this October. The DVD features over three hours of live footage (including “Magickal Mastery Live”, a 12 song live act), interviews, and outtakes, all documenting these first 15 years of the band. Titled XV, this audiovisual experience will also be available as a special wooden 8GB usb drive. In addition to this DVD release, Ufomammut have confirmed that they shall be heading into the studio to record their seventh studio collection this September. The new album should see the light of day in Spring 2015 via Neurot Recordings. They will return to the US for their first proper tour, as well as a promise of more European live shows. You can preorder XV here – http://supernaturalcat.bigcartel.com/category/xv

The always busy Stuart Estell has released a new bandcamp EP “The Hearer, the Listener and the Blank” under his Lachenalia project – which demonstrates again his virtuosity and willingness to explore a range of different sonic forms. Both ambient and hypnotic the EP melds busy percussion with surging keyboard sounds to create an extremely pleasurable listening experience.

The Lachenalia album “Acts & Monuments” and the single “Leveno” are still available from German Shepherd Records.

“M” is the latest track to be released from Obake’s upcoming second album, “Mutations” , which will be released this October from  Rare Noise Records. Like a number of the new album tracks, it begins with a familiar sound, a thick, sludge- like groove recalling multitude numerous titans of the Southern Rock scene, however it soon it breaks down all conventions with a game-changing voice unsettling interlude which segues into mind-boggling progressive rock, replete with minor chords and epic crescendos.

​​Following hot on the heels of free single Demonstration , and appearance at Song By Toad’s ‘Pale Imitation’ festival, those lovely at Flowers In the Dustbin have announced a new single – “Checking Out” ​​- from Alansmithee, this time recorded in collaboration with Marklar.  Sounds damn fine to me:

And to conclude this round up a couple of new releases from German Shepherd records.

First up another KP2 collaboration, this time with Luana’s Black Reptiles – comprising three excellent tracks which explore phobias about insects, provide a tribute to the great jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, and muse on the thoughts of people waiting to die at Jonestown, Lyrically rich and with a  vital sonic palette this is a must listen release which is called “Taken To See The Tiger”

The second is the sophomore outing from Modal Roberts called “Motion Blur” which could be subtitled adventures in dub and self deprecation – Modal mixes things up with a, sometimes, tongue in cheek exploration of dance/electronica tropes, post punk moves and funky workouts all wrapped up in a neat little selection of five tunes which demonstrate variety in sound and lyrical content. Always impressive is his ability to somehow subvert the genre norms, mess around with them and create something which is both entrancing and thought provoking.

 

 

Mutant Frenzy

Obake had released a brand new track from their second album, Mutations.

This explosive track is instantly recognisable as Obake, their trademark heavy, lurching doom guitar riffs, make room for Lorenzo’s chameleon-like vocal style, changing constantly throughout the songs duration. However, any sense of this being business as usual is soon shattered by the unpredictable pace-changing drum blasts and ear piercing electronics which hint that a broader range of dynamics are at play on the new record.

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Indeed behind the scenes, the quartet comprising Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (vocals, piano, electronics), Eraldo Bernocchi (guitar, electronics), Balazs Pandi (drums) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree – bass) have been undergoing a metamorphosis, changing the dynamics and channellng their talents to create this new recording.

Mutations was recorded by Daniel Sandor at Metropol Studio in Budapest, produced and mixed by Eraldo Bernocchi and Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari at The Place in Tuscany and mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone Studio – NYC. Obake will be touring from October 2014 onward.

Noise News

Obake are back, with a second album out in October on Rare Noise Records. We are advised to expect something where the energies of metal fuse with ambient electronica, jazz, and noise with the precision of math-rock and the groove of blues.

Here is the band,  with Trevor Dunn on bass, at the Assymetry Festival in 2012

Le Butcherettes have joined Ipecac Recording’s roster and will release their second album release, Cry Is For The Flies, on Sept. 15 via the Bay Area label in conjunction with Nadie Sound. The album features guests Henry Rollins (“Moment of Guilt”) and Shirley Manson (“Shame, You’re All I’ve Got”).  Le Butcherettes is Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keys) and Lia Braswell (drums). Pending that here’s something from the Sin Sin Sin album

Pallbearer‘s new track “The Ghost I Used To Be” is available.   This is the first new Pallbearer song to surface from their forthcoming new album, Foundations Of Burden, which will be available on August 25th from Profound Lore and is available for pre-order now: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/pallbearer/

I’ve reviewed the Wolves In The Room new album Celestite elsewhere on the blog, here’s another preview track….

Some forthcoming releases to keep an eye out for this month

BOWL ETHEREAL 7″ – S/T (SOUTHERN LORD)

This release is an expansion of their digital only debut Five Minutes which they gave away last year as a free download via their website. Bowl Ethereal are a duo from Virginia comprising Brian Metz (Amish Control Tower) on guitar, bass and production, and influential math metal luminary Pen Rollings (Honor Role, Breadwinner, Loincloth) on drums and also arrangement and deconstruction duties. On this Brad Boatright mastered 7″, the band opt for brevity, offering up 6 songs in 6 minutes (adding one more song to the original five). This 7″ is limited to 600 copies and shall be available at this link http://southernlordeurope.com/store/view/s-t-7 and here’s a link to find out more http://southernlord.com/bands/view/bowl-ethereal
CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR – MECHANICAL TIDES (SEASON OF MIST)
As previously reported hey have a string of dates coming up, none of which in the Manchester area – nearest options are 23rd July Maguires, Liverpool and 24th July Packhorse, Leeds. The album is described as a mixture of sludge and punk – looking forward to getting an advance copy to share with you via podcast.
ELECTRIC FUNERAL – TOTAL FUNERAL (SOUTHERN LORD)
A fully-comprehensive discography from Swedish raw punk act, Electric Funeral is due for release. The brainchild of Jocke D-takt – also of Paranoid, Desperat, Warvictims, Totalt Jävla Mörker and countless other acts – Electric Funeral’s pure angst-ridden style explodes out of the speakers with relentless noise, bursting with energy. The album surges with the sounds of Anti-Cimex, Gloom, Discharge and the like, to blazing speeds in the vein of Disclose and Krömosom, and charges straight at the listener with unstoppable force from beginning to end of every single track recorded to date, all of which are now packed into Total Funeral, with over an hour-and-a-half of carnage with fifty-three tracks in total, including the Harvester Of DeathMake Noise Not War,D-Beat Noise AttackThe Face of WarMake A ChangeGröndalenIn League With Darkness and Order From Disorder releases, the split with Go Filth Go, and even several previously-unreleased and new/unreleased tracks. Here is their 2012 release.
MARTYRDÖD – ELDDOP (SOUTHERN LORD)
Martyrdöd have completed recording their fifth album, Elddop, at Studio Fredman – the follow up to the powerful declaration of political rage that was Paranoia in 2012.  The band’s fifth LP is the most emotionally intrusive record of the Swedish four-piece yet. Relentlessly forcing its way into the most obscure corners of the human mind, Elddop challenges the darkness by way of confronting it, and thus already pierces its way through the black, towards spiritual release.

 The daring 14 song record allows Martyrdöd to elaborate on some of the musical themes and influences that have long characterised their sound. Securely placed in traditional Swedish hardcore punk such as Anti-Cimex, Martyrdöd stands on the shoulders of giants, seeing further, wanting more. Enchanting melodies and Bathory-esque folk music finds a perfect fit in war charged d-beat mayhem.
 They have also recruited Fredrik Reinedahl on bass, who has stacked up production and engineering credits for bands, Sólstafir, Abandon, Burst, Crowpath, Dimension Zero, Gadget and Memfis to name a few.

Southern Lord release the CD/LP release in July with a special European version of the vinyl coming out on La Familia & D-beat Raw Punk. This release comes as perfect timing as the band shall be touring the UK and Europe with Converge throughout August, a great opportunity to hear their new songs live. The play Club Academy, Manchester on 4th August.

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